John, not his real name, a freshman was having difficulty managing his life on campus. He spent most of his time in his room playing video games or watching Netflix, went to bed a 2-3 am missed classes and was turning in late assignments. By midterm, not only had John gained weight, he had no friends and many past due assignments. John’s parents were very worried that he was depressed and was going to fail. This is a good example of a situation where a student would benefit from additional support.
College students need a variety of skills to succeed. Not just academic skills, but life, time management, and social skills as well. A college academic-social skills coach helps students learn to manage their lives by providing coaching in life, social, and executive function skills.
How it works
A college academic-social skills coach provides direct services by phone or online. For example John (not his real name) coach helped him to create a plan that scheduled homework, monitored eating, sleeping social and screen time. Working closely with his coach, he reported his progress regularly identifying problems and brainstorming solutions along the way. John learned to identify assignments he found difficult, advocate with professors and schedule appointments with learning support and tutors. In addition with his coach John created a rubric that he used to evaluate his sleep, social and eating patterns. Soon John was up to date on most of his assignments, was participating in a few clubs, and was managing his personal life.
Simultaneously, the coach helped John’s identify interests and explore deterrents. First John acknowledged that his television and video game habits were impacting his success. He also identified that he ate more because he ate alone in his room. He tried numerous strategies to manage this aspect of his life, but he also had to improve his social skills. He began participating in new groups and taking more social risks like eating his meals in the dining hall. Eventually he recognized students from his classes and began developing relationships. With the help of a college academic-social skills coach John was able to achieve his goal of remaining in school, and eventually graduated from college.
What does a College Academic-Social Skills Coach do?
A college academic-social skills coach helps college students acquire critical skills needed to navigate higher education. Colleges expect students to be independent, self-advocates who are able to manage their school work, social connections, and self-care. Some students need help in this transition. A coach provides services to help bridge the gap between college and high school.
College Academic-Social Skills Coach offers online support in the following areas:
- Instruction in using tools, including technology, to manage classes, social engagements and academic work
- Help in thinking, planning, and communicating in order to access social clubs and special interests.
- Tailored social skills training as needed
- Time management support as needed for daily activities
- Training in project management
- Training in self-advocacy that empowers students to use their strengths to mitigate their challenges
- Help identify necessary accommodations